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Brand & Generic Names

Amfetamine Dexedrine
AMPHETAMINE Dexedrine Spansule
Biphetamine 12-1/2 METHAMPHETAMINE
Biphetamine 20 Oxydess
Desoxyn Spancap
Desoxyn Gradumet

Basic Information

  • Habit forming? Yes
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? Yes
  • Drug class: Central nervous system stimulant


  • Prevents narcolepsy (attacks of uncontrollable sleepiness).
  • Controls hyperactivity in children.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Tablet--Swallow with liquid.
Extended-release capsules and tablets--Swallow each dose whole with liquid; do not crush.
Elixir--Swallow with liquid.

When to take:
At the same times each day.
Short-acting form--Don't take later than 6 hours before bedtime.
Long-acting form--Take on awakening.

If you forget a dose:
Short-acting form--Take up to 2 hours late. If more than 2 hours, wait for next dose (don't double this dose).
Long-acting form--Take as soon as you remember. Wait 20 hours for next dose.

What drug does:
Narcolepsy--Apparently affects brain centers to decrease fatigue or sleepiness and increase alertness and motor activity.
Hyperactive children--Calms children, opposite to effect on narcoleptic adults.

Time lapse before drug works:
15 to 30 minutes.

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Rapid heartbeat, hyperactivity, high fever, hallucinations, suicidal or homicidal feelings, convulsions, coma.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or O (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • See EMERGENCY Information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    In case of overdose, see Overdose section.


  • Irritability, nervousness, insomnia, euphoria.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Fast, pounding heartbeat.


  • Dizziness; reduced alertness; blurred vision; unusual sweating.
  • Headache.
  • Diarrhea or constipation, appetite loss, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, diminished sex drive, impotence.


  • Rash, hives; chest pain or irregular heartbeat; uncontrollable movements of head, neck, arms, legs.
  • Mood changes, swollen breasts.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:

  • You are allergic to any amphetamine.
  • You will have surgery within 2 months, including dental surgery, requiring general or spinal anesthesia.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you plan to become pregnant within medication period.
  • If you have glaucoma.
  • If you have heart or blood-vessel disease, or high blood pressure.
  • If you have overactive thyroid, anxiety or tension.
  • If you have a severe mental illness (especially children).

Over age 60:
Adverse reactions and side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons.

Risk to unborn child outweighs benefits of drug. Don't use.

Drug passes into milk. Avoid drug or discontinue nursing.

Infants & children:
Not recommended for children under 12.

Prolonged use:

  • Habit forming.
  • Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check blood pressure, growth charts in children, reassessment of need for continued treatment.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Don't drive or pilot aircraft until you learn how medicine affects you. Don't work around dangerous machinery. Don't climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicine affecting alertness and reflexes.

May be unnecessary to finish medicine. Follow doctor's instructions.


  • This is a dangerous drug and must be closely supervised. Don't use for appetite control or depression. Potential for damage and abuse.
  • During withdrawal phase, may cause prolonged sleep of several days.
  • Don't use for fatigue or to replace rest.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Anesthesias, Irregular heartbeat.
Antidepressants, Decreased
tricyclic (TCA)* amphetamine effect.
Antihypertensives* Decreased antihypertensive effect.
Beta-blockers* High blood pressure, slow
Carbonic anhydrase Increased
inhibitors* amphetamine effect.
Central nervous Excessive CNS stimulation.
Doxazosin Decreased doxazosin effect.
Furalozidine Sudden and severe high blood pressure.
Haloperidol Decreased amphetamine effect.
MAO inhibitors* May severely increase blood
Nabilone Greater depression of the central
nervous system.
Phenothiazines* Decreased amphetamine effect.
Prazosin Decreased prazosin effect.
Sodium Increased
bicarbonate amphetamine effect.
Sympathomimetics* Seizures.
Thyroid hormones* Heartbeat irregularities.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Decreased amphetamine effect.
Caffeine drinks. Overstimulation. Avoid.
Cocaine: Dangerous stimulation of nervous
system. Avoid.
Foods: None expected.
Marijuana: Frequent use--Severely impaired
mental function.
Tobacco: None expected.

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